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The University of Alabama

Benson Named Interim Provost at UA

Dr. Joe Benson

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – University of Alabama President Judy Bonner has named long-time faculty member and administrator Dr. Joe Benson as interim provost.

Benson has served as vice president for research and vice provost at UA since 2009.

“Dr. Benson is a respected member of the faculty and an academic leader,” Bonner said in announcing the appointment. “He has been the president of the UA Faculty Senate, chair of the department of geology, and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, in addition to his current position.”

Bonner said she will announce search committees for the positions of provost and vice president for the Office of Research in the coming weeks. Benson will continue to serve as vice president for research as well as provost until his planned retirement next summer.

Benson served as interim vice president for research and vice provost from 2007-2009 and as senior associate dean of the UA College of Arts and Sciences from 2001-2007.

He joined the UA faculty in 1978 as an assistant professor of geology. Promoted to associate professor and then professor, he served as chair of the department of geological sciences from 1990-1998 and as associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1998-2001. Prior to joining UA, he was a research geologist for the Ohio Division of Geological Survey.

Benson’s research record in the area of petroleum geology has led to more than 80 publications and substantial external funding to support his research projects.

Known as an outstanding teacher, Benson was presented the National Alumni Association’s Outstanding Commitment to Teaching Award in 1988 and in 2004 received the Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies Outstanding Educator Award. He served two terms as president of the UA Faculty Senate from 1993-1995.

Benson earned his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Cincinnati and his bachelor’s degree from the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.